Saturday, January 28, 2006

HAMAS Says No Change

As the U.S. Department of State begins to reevaluate its financing for Palestinian territories (for USAID operations in the West Bank see here), HAMAS leaders have resoundingly announced today that they will neither recognize Israel’s right to exist nor disarm. According to the NY Times (see story here), HAMAS leader, Khaled Meshal, has declared that “resistance is a legitimate right that we will practice and protect.” Interestingly too, there has also been talk by HAMAS members to create a Palestinian Army of some kind. Some speculate that with time HAMAS will (as did the Fatah party and the IRA) eventually splinter, causing HAMAS to go mainstream and militants to formulate a secondary arm. Others, like International Counterterrorism (ICT) Center expert Asaf Maliach (find article titled: “Hamas and the Two Level Strategy” here) argue that integration of the organization into the political realm is not indicative of a movement away from its hard-lined position. Only time will tell no doubt, but it seems relatively clear that as terrorist sponsored organizations like HAMAS, Hizbullah, and the Muslim Brotherhood integrate into the democratic process, the once coveted theory of democratic peace (democracies don’t go to war) is rapidly proving specious.